Preventing arrests in the intensive care unit

Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (12):776-777 (2013)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

You have not opened the wrong journal!The police have a duty to protect the public and to investigate any, and all, serious crimes. The article by Lynøe and Leijonhufvud raises important issues about the interaction between hospital staff and police in cases in which suggested medical negligence crosses into the arena of serious legal offences, which range from murder and homicide to serious assault.1Although arising in Sweden, the issues raised in this case are generalisable. While our understanding is limited to the journal article there seem several uncontested facts: a children's intensive care doctor was arrested, charged and acquitted of the mercy killing of an infant in a Swedish hospital. The baby had sustained severe brain injury prior to this clinician's involvement, either due to birth asphyxia or to an accidental overdose of salt. The baby died after withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment with parental agreement. At a later stage, the family asked the police to investigate the initial salt incident. Despite the team attending the baby after WLST stating that only a morphine infusion was administered, a 25-day postmortem femoral artery sample showed ‘an extremely high level of thiopentone’ , although no control sample was analysed.Healthcare staff are subject to the laws of their country. However, Lynøe and Leijonhufvud raise the issue of a conflict between what they term ‘soft law’—the rules, regulations and ethics of healthcare practice and the law of the land. …

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,517

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

On the death of a baby.R. Stinson & P. Stinson - 1981 - Journal of Medical Ethics 7 (1):5-18.
One Advocate's Viewpoint: Conflicts and Tensions in the Baby K Case.Ellen J. Flannery - 1995 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 23 (1):7-12.

Analytics

Added to PP
2013-11-03

Downloads
26 (#610,886)

6 months
10 (#396,964)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references